Afterthoughts - GC v0.32 (Bus Problem)

So we had a little GC, weight on the world little. Five people showed up at the pre-event while there were only three to four of us at the actual event depending on how you count.

We got a nice little introduction to the topic from Tuukka and made some progress on the converter. A couple of notes:

  • Parsing 600 MB XML isn't as easy as you might think
  • grep or similar works great for getting quick insights
  • Apparently combination of grep and sed works to some extent provided your XML is formatted right

Besides the data we also had access to XML schema, documentation etc. You can find links to the relevant data at our previous post. The converter repository itself contains some interesting bits.

We tried sort of test driven approach first. The problem was that there weren't any concrete examples anywhere. It was all described on a higher level. Sure, we had that 600MB XML but try extracting examples out of that... That is where filtering approaches came in. We knew station data had an id related to Jyväskylä. Using that it was possible to access some other data as the data is relational after all.

I'm thinking XSLT could have come in handy. Alternatively we could have tried to load the data to a database (SQlite or something?) and then manipulated it further. I am sure these kind of things are easy if you have any kind of routine. Maybe I should have taken more XML courses at the uni after all...

We didn't get any test cases written yet, though. With some assistance from Tuukka we did manage to find one typo (Modetype vs. ModeType) and solved on of the three issues. There are still two issues left but I can do something about those on my own.

Special thanks to Tsuri and Michael for showing up! It is always helpful to have some extra brains in the premises. I am not sure if Hemingways is actually ideal for coding intense events like this. This time it was uncharacteristically crowded. Perhaps we just got unlucky.


Pre-GC v0.32 on Wednesday October 23 (17:00-18:00) @ Jalo

Just a quick update. Due to some sudden demand we will arrange a small pre-GC event at Jalo right before our main event at Hemingways. So consider this option when making your Wednesday plans!

GC v0.32 (Bus Problem) on Wednesday October 23 (18:00-) @ Hemingways

This time we are going to have a bus themed collision. As you might know there is going to be a nice open data related event around 8th and 9th of November. The theme ties into this closely.

Tuukka Hastrup has developed a mobile navigator that works at Tampere and Helsinki. This makes it significantly easier to figure out which bus to ride and when. In short it's a bit like car navigator but for bus people.

It is possible to make this system work in Jyväskylä. For that to happen we will need to convert certain data in correct format. This is what the collision will be about. In short we will be taking data from matka.fi (kalkati.net format) and convert that to GTFS.

In case you want to study the problem before the GC, consider the links below:

The current converter works partially. The result may be loaded into the navigator and even works on certain areas. There are some missing features, though. These include vehicle types (current all get assigned as bus), route names (missing or incorrect) and route dates (see add_calendar). Route dates should be transformed from Kalkati vector format into GTFS files calendar.txt and calendar_dates.txt.

It would be pretty awesome if we could tackle this problem. See you there at Hemingways! In the meantime enjoy this little bus video:


Afterthoughts - Lean Coffee - No Estimates

I have no estimates and I must code. How horrible is that? Or is it? That's what we talked about at today's edition of Lean Coffee. Even though it was early morning surprisingly many people showed up. Thanks for that!

In case you want to see what we talked about, check out the summary at Lean Coffee blog and my scribbling titled as Sell Value, Not Features.

I hope the tradition continues. It is definitely nice to focus on some specific topic for an hour. You can cover quite a bit within that short time and maybe get ahead with your ideas.

Please remember to register to the Open Knowledge Roadshow (8-9.11) and possible mobile testing event. The latter will happen only if enough people are interested. If mobile testing sounds like meh, we can likely do something about the topic.

Open Knowledge Roadshow - 8-9.11 - Registration Open!

I have a very interesting announcement to make! The registration to Open Knowledge Roadshow is open. You might have some idea about open data and such. This is your opportunity to take it to the next level.
Bridge to somewhere by Paul Bica (CC BY)

The event itself is split up in two days around 8th and 9th of November (Fri, Sat).

The first day focuses more on the conceptual level. Its primary purpose is to get the right people together so we can finally get the ball rolling here at Jyväskylä.

The latter day acts as a bridge to the reality in form of Konstruktori. That is where your coding skills will become really handy. Konstruktori itself is a pre-event for a bigger demoscene event known as Instanssi that will be held next year.

The exact program is available at the registration site. The roadshow site contains some interesting information as well. The event is of course free. See you there!

Special Treat and Possible Event on Mobile Testing

Testing, testing. Is the mic on? Guess so. As you might remember we had a small evening of testing a while ago. Surprisingly many people showed up. Special guest of our event, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, prepared something special for us. Check out her slides "Five Lessons of (Agile) Testing for Everyone".

There's more to it, though. If there's enough interest, we might get another testing guru around. Rather than trying to explain what this thing is about, I'll let Juha do the talking:
We have the possibility of getting a high profile testing professional Ru Cindrea to work with us in domain of Mobile Testing. Something like workshop, dojo or something else.  
Please mark down you interest of such event! If there's enough, like 10 or more, then we'll make it happen! Doodle
And please share this forward in your organization, if there's even slight possibility for interest :)  
br, Juha Heimonen 
So if this sounds interesting to you and you would like to learn more about mobile testing, sign up! Also let your friends know and make sure they let their friends know too. Laters!

Lean Coffee: No Estimates. At Media Cabinet office, on Tuesday 15.10, 9:00am

Let's talk about No Estimates!

From Neil Killick:

" It was started by @duarte_vasco, @WoodyZuill and myself, and has involved such prominent names as @mikewcohn and @RonJeffries.
#NoEstimates is a collection of writings and debate about ways of delivering software without the need for deterministic estimates"

And from Woody Zuill:

"Having noticed many dysfunctions in estimate-driven software development, #NoEstimates seeks alternatives."

Texts by Neil Killick: http://neilkillick.com/category/noestimates/

Let's start the session with short briefing by Ville Törmälä (and maybe yours truly too).
Session is hosted by Media Cabinet. Our office is at Kolmikulma. Just go right in from the main entrance, then to right to the staircase, go up to fourth floor, and turn left.

We have limited time available, so let's be sharp!

If you can't find, ring me:
Juha Heimonen / 040 5255995


Afterthoughts - Overview of Go

That's the Go critter
Big thanks to Michael Cochez for organizing the event! It was great fun. All in all around eight people showed up. There was also a new Tero around. Welcome!

We went through various tasks at Tour of Go and discussed details of the language. I think this sort of format works well for providing some idea of how some language works and what kind of concepts it provides.

Even though Michael had prepared a small assignment for us, we didn't go through it this time. There was some talk about a possible another session where we would focus on coding something. We didn't get into scheduling yet, though. It's up to Michael I think.

Likely the next bigger event we'll be organizing will be battle of web frameworks vol. 2. as there was some serious interest. It will be likely arranged three weeks from now. There will be a separate Doodle for that. In the meantime we might have a Lean Coffee or not.
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